Physicians’ capability in home health practice: Home health nurses’ perceptions

Cheryl E. Woodson, Joe Feinglass*, Rael Slavensky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine home health nurses’ attitudes towards physician capabilities in home health care, and whether nurses’ attitudes are associated with their experience, practice setting, degree of physician interaction, or use of home health guidelines. Design: A multiple regression analysis of a 90 item survey on agency characteristics, degree of interaction with physicians, and ratings of physicians’ capabilities across multiple dimensions of home health practice. Setting/Participants: 86 registered visiting nurses from seven Chicago-area home health agencies, who averaged 25 home visits and over one hour of direct contact with physicians weekly. Measurements: Nurses’ ratings of physician capability in home health practice were scaled from 18 survey items with high internal consistency reliability and correlated with nurses’ practice characteristics. Results: While most nurses (72%) felt that physicians responded adequately in emergencies and respected them as colleagues (70%), over 70% of respondents did not agree that physicians were adequately trained in home health. A majority of respondents rated physicians negatively on patient education, cross-coverage and availability, discharge planning, support and medical supply services, and insurance issues. Respondents’ years of home health experience correlated negatively (p = .004) and degree of contact with physicians correlated positively (p = .05) with ratings of physician capabilities. Conclusion: Nurses’ attitudes about physicians’ performance can provide important insights for improving the effectiveness of specialized disease and outcomes management programs which rely on care in the home setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-37
Number of pages13
JournalHome Health Care Services Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999


  • Family practice
  • Geriatrics
  • Guidelines
  • Home health
  • Nursing
  • Quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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